classroom management / free tech resources / Parent resources / teacher resources / third grade / Web 2.0 / websites / Wikis

Classroom Management 101: Use Wikis

This is the fourth in a series on classroom management through wikis. Here are links for grades K-5.

This one is Third Grade:

classroom management

Click here to visit my third grade class wiki

You can organize a classroom with blogs, internet start pages (click for more on internet start pages), wikis, even twitter (Click for more on twitter). Wikis are the most thorough. Take a look at my third grade class wiki . I have room for student and parent resources, homework, What we did Today (for absent students or parents), grade-level skills, favorite links. You can even add student pages, created by students. This is very popular in the older grades. When students are absent, I send them to this wiki to see what we did and what they need help with. When we’re getting ready to submit a project, they can check out the grading rubric here, be sure they have all required pieces. This is a great spot to include extensions for those precocious students who finish everything early. I’m going to add a ‘sponge’ page, for just that reason: a place students can go to try theme-oriented websites that can be completed in 5-10 minutes.

How fast do third graders get used to the click-clack of finding the wiki? A few weeks, but I don’t design it for only the students, rather the parents also. Third parents want so much to stay on top of activities, class work, requirements, and they understand the five-year-old brain isn’t yet mature enough (in most cases) to collect and remember pertinent facts. Sometimes, that age child can’t differentiate what they must remember and what there’s no need to. This site solves those issues. If it’s not on here, parents can rest comfortably it isn’t required. There’s also a ‘Discussion’ tab on each page so parents can communicate their thoughts with me if there’s a pesky part that perturbs them.

A class wiki also helps me stay organized. I consider it the best classroom management tool I use. I can go back in time, see the details of what I did last year, the links I visited, samples of projects, and update where necessary. And the best thing about a class wiki: It’s free through Wikispaces.com and so many other purveyors.

Click here for more information on wikis.

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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and author of two technology training books for middle school. She wrote Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, an Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, an IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything and Technology in Education. Currently, she’s working on a techno-thriller that should be ready this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office, WordDreams, or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

8 thoughts on “Classroom Management 101: Use Wikis

  1. You’re so kind. I know how confusing it is to get thrown into a job teaching technology when your background is something else. I hope these resources make it a bit easier. Like you said in one of your posts–Pay it forward.

    My wikis go along with the lesson plans and the internet start page and my blogs to provide a transparency that gives a lot of comfort to parents and confidence to the students I teach. I love the new technology.

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  4. Love your blog! I just discovered it in a weekly email blast I get from The 2 Sisters. I am a Kindergarten teacher in a public school and am hoping to set up a classroom website or blog. In theory it would be linked to my school/district website, which means it would be public. What would be good to use so videos (and even some photos) might be password protected? I want parents to feel comfortable that images of their children aren’t accessible to the general public. I tried KidBlog last year, which is great, but the memory fills up quickly and I had to keep dumping entries.

    Thanks for your help!
    Christie

  5. Wikispaces.com allows you to keep a wiki entirely private (I have a Photoshop wiki that’s private–kills me to do that, but my school insisted) or password protect pages while leaving other pages open. WordPress.com allows you to hide pages–making them accessible only if you know the website address. There are several on this blog that you would never know existed unless I gave you the address. My school uses a site called Schoology that can’t be accessed without a password.

    I have a core philosophy on social networks like blogs, websites, etc. in education. I want my classes to be transparent for parents and students AND I want to share information with my colleagues (like you). This is why I prefer sites like Wikispaces and WordPress. We all benefit by sharing information. The rising tide lifts all boats, and we are all part of that effort. In the end, I use Schoology for school pictures and Wikispaces and WordPress for everything else. It’s a compromise I’m happy with, even though it’s more work. I know from feedback to my WordPress blogs that a lot of teachers benefit from what I post, as I do from what they post.

    Does that help?

  6. Pingback: Classroom Management 101: Use Wikis | Teaching | Scoop.it

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